Skip to main content

tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  October 4, 2011 12:00am-1:00am EDT

12:00 am
of opportunities for perry to be held accountable for that ranch sign and for herman cain to stick it to rick perry to make sure that he's held accountable for that. for what he knew and what he did and didn't do, knowing that that horrible, offensive sign was there on a property he was renting. >> jonathan capehart of the "washington post" and msnbc. thanks very much for joining us tonight. >> thanks, lawrence. >> "the rachel maddow show" is up next. good evening, lawrence. thank you. thanks to you for staying with us the next hour. if you have the kind of job where you have to ask for your days off a long time in advance or if you need to make family travel plans for next year, i have good news from today's news. we can get your election year calendar locked down. now, on friday, as we reported on friday, the state of florida decided to move its republican primary up. they're moving it up really early to january 31st. then after florida made that announcement, like dominos
12:01 am
falling right into your winter plans, the other early primary and early caucus states have followed suit and have now all moved up their likely election dates as well. so here's how it looks right now if you want to make a note of it. the iowa caucuses are most likely going to be held on either january 2nd or january 3rd. the new hampshire primary will probably be held on january 10th. nevada has just decided to move its caucuses up, too. it appears those will be held on january 17th. south carolina has moved its primary up as well to january 21st. then to wrap up the month, we will get the florida primary, as i said, on january 31st. what this means is that all of the other primary dates are sort of in flux, too. super tuesday right now is expected to be on the 6th of march. but again, things are in motion. however else the calendar shakes out, though, where things will culminate, if you want to make your plans, where things will culminate, is, of course, at the
12:02 am
conventions. the republican convention next year will be held in tampa, florida, the week of august 27th. the democratic convention will be held the week of september 3rd in charlotte, north carolina. north carolina. why are the democrats going to north carolina? north carolina after all has a giant downside for the democratic party, which is that organized labor is a really important democratic constituency and a very embattled one right now. union rights under attack this year essentially anywhere that republicans have governing authority, from washington, d.c., to madison, wisconsin to columbus, ohio to anywhere you noticed a teacher picketing or a firefighter writing a letter to the editor. it has been a tough year for union rights. and democrats will not be making it any easier on unions when they convene in charlotte, north carolina since that is a city without a single unionized hotel. and this is not some sort of secret that they realized after the fact. democrats made their decision to hold their convention in charlotte in full knowledge of the union rights problem that it presents. but they decided to go there anyway. they decided to go there anyway because north carolina is really
12:03 am
important to them. really important specifically to barack obama's re-election effort. in the 2008 presidential election you may remember that the day before election day then-candidate barack obama's grandmother, the woman who had raised him, died in hawaii. and that night, the night before election day, election eve, with the on-air countdown clocks already ticking down the number of hours before the first polls would open, barack obama went to north carolina and he stood in the rain at the university of north carolina and he gave his closing argument, in essence, for the whole 2008 election. it was a powerful personal moment because it was one of the only times he has ever been seen to cry in public, when he was talking about his grandmother. it was also a powerfully emotional political moment because here it was the night before the presidential election and the democratic candidate is in the south. because there are multiple southern states that are within reach for the democrat on
12:04 am
election day. >> after decades of broken politics in washington, after eight years of failed policies from george w. bush, you don't need to boo, you just need -- you just need to vote. after 21 months of a campaign that has taken us from the rocky coasts of maine to the sunshine of california, we are one day away from changing america. one day. >> the next day barack obama went on to win florida. he went on to win virginia. and he went on to win north carolina. where you saw him speaking there. a democrat winning in north carolina. bill clinton did not win north carolina either time he ran, but barack obama did. barely. obama and biden won by a little
12:05 am
more than 14,000 votes. democrats actually had a big year in north carolina in 2008. that year the jesse helms senate seat was up after the far, far, far, far right senator jesse helms stepped down, that seat had gone to elizabeth dole. in 2008 republican elizabeth dole, the incumbent republican senator in the jesse helms seat, in 2008 she lost that seat to a democrat. kay hagan. she got beaten badly in that race. elizabeth dole losing that race by nine points. for the governor's race in north carolina it was a little closer. it was a three-point race. but again the democrat won. bev perdue became the state's first female governor. barack obama didn't need to win north carolina to win the presidency. he didn't need to win indiana either. but seeing states like north carolina and states like indiana turn so unexpectedly blue was an emotional thing. it was essentially the exclamation point on that democratic victory in 2008. and so the democrats choosing north carolina for their 2012
12:06 am
convention was sort of a bold move and an emotional move. barack obama and joe biden won north carolina, as i said, in 2008 by the slimmest of margins. look at that. 49.7% to 49.4%. they won by less than 15,000 votes out of more than 4 million cast. the slimmest of margins. and they fought tooth and nail for every single one of those votes. this was the difference in new voters registered by the two parties for the 2008 election. democrats outregistered republicans for new voters nearly 5-1 in north carolina. nearly 5-1. north carolina. democrats' new voter registration drives were very, very effective in north carolina. on election day itself there were more votes cast for john mccain than there were for barack obama. but obama still won the state because -- organizing. they had racked up a huge advantage in early voting. more than half of all north carolina voters in 2008 voted early. and early voters ultimately put obama over the top.
12:07 am
early voting and those voter registration drives were absolutely key to barack obama winning north carolina in 2008. but the north carolina the democrats are going back to for their convention just four years later will be a very, very, very different north carolina. republicans in north carolina are doing everything they can to change the voting rules in that state so a victory like the one obama got there in 2008 can never happen again. republicans in the state legislature in north carolina have proposed, for example, reducing early voting time across the state. less early voting. they have proposed eliminating early voting altogether on sundays. why is that important? well, sunday is traditionally a day when a lot of black churches bring a lot of their parishioners from the church to the polls. republicans in north carolina have proposed eliminating same-day registration for anybody who wants to vote on election day. they have proposed new rules to make it more complicated and difficult if not impossible to conduct voter registration drives in north carolina. republicans in north carolina
12:08 am
decided that to vote in the next election north carolinians would have to show i.d. that they have never before had to show in order to vote. it's estimated that 500,000 north carolina voters do not have that form of i.d. 500,000. and yes, those 500,000 are disproportionately minority voters and poor voters and students, voting groups that disproportionately vote democratic. now, remember, when barack obama won it last time, he won by 14,000 votes. largely on the strength of early voting and voter registration drives. looks like that won't happen again. not if north carolina republicans change all the rules about those things. republicans wanting to make sure a democratic victory like that does not happen again, wanting to make it harder to vote and harder to register to vote, that is not an unusual thing. we have been seeing that all over the country recently. what is new and what is sort of amazing about north carolina in particular, especially because the democrats are going to hold their convention there, what is new and sort of amazing is what has happened to north carolina since the night barack obama won
12:09 am
there. in the next election in 2010, north carolina saw an unprecedented flood of money into the races for state legislative seats. not money going directly to candidates but money going to the supposedly independent groups that are really obviously not independent. very really obviously partisan even though they are technically not supposed to be. so much independent money spent on behalf of republican candidates, spent to attack democratic candidates in the state legislature races. so much money spent that north carolina's 2010 red tide was like no other state. for the first time since 1870 the state legislature of north carolina went to republicans in 2010. and once they got control of it, they immediately set to work trying to get rid of early voting and voter registration drives. sunday voting. sorry, black churches. and making you show i.d. to vote. making you show i.d. to vote that half a million north carolina voters do not have.
12:10 am
thanks to 2010, for the first time since 1870 north carolina has a republican-controlled legislature and the supposedly independent, very obviously partisan republican money that got them there, that huge tide of independent money that got them there in 2010, get this, 3/4 of that money can all be tied back to one person. one guy. 3/4 of all the independent money that flooded into the north carolina races in 2010, into the state legislature races, all tied to one guy. his family members, his family foundation and his business. money all pretty obviously controlled by one guy. he targeted 22 races. he got a republican into office in 18 of those 22 races. one guy. 3/4 of the outside money in the entire election. one guy. one guy who just sat down for a four-hour interview with jane mayer. joining us now is jane mayer, staff writer for "the new yorker" magazine. her new article on north carolina republican kingmaker art pope appears in this week's issue of "the new yorker." jane mayer, thanks very much for being here. >> glad to be with you.
12:11 am
>> should art pope sort of be seen as the one-man band that is the republican party in north carolina now or is he something new and different? >> well, in many ways he is the one man who is single-handedly bankrolling a kind of conservative takeover of the state. at least that's how the democrats see it down there. it's a state that as you said is just completely key to barack obama's re-election, and it's a state that is traditionally neither completely red nor blue. it's kind of a purple state. but it went blue in 2008, and basically, the republican party took one look at it and thought they've got to make sure that it doesn't go that way again in 2012. so there's been a lot of very careful and smart thinking going into the state and a ton of money. and as you say, almost all of the accounts, 3/4 of the
12:12 am
independent spending in 2010 were accounts that linked back to this one raleigh businessman named art pope, who has kind of an empire of discount stores and is a long-time far right activist. >> in terms of -- in terms of art pope's political interests now that have become so important to the fate of north carolinians, as you say, he's sort of a head of an empire of discount stores. he inherited this business empire from his dad and his dad from his father before him. has art pope been pushing an agenda that is more broadly conservative than just the sort of narrow advancing republican partisan interests, just things i described in the introduction? >> well, first of all, he makes a big point of saying he didn't inherit the business. it's a family business. he certainly went right into the family business and he now owns it. it's privately owned much like
12:13 am
the koch brothers own their own company also. but are his interests narrow? they are -- he has a vision of america that requires kind of turning back the tide of history to before the new deal, basically. and he will say it has nothing to do with his business interests, but it does include things like opposition to the minimum wage law, and he hires an awful lot of people at minimum wages and he also has opposition to most taxes and to all kinds of government services and, of course, because he has a fortune that includes something like $150 million in a family foundation, taxes are something that he pays a lot of. so you can certainly see that his political vision dovetails with his self-interest but it goes beyond that i think really with him. he's something of a -- kind of an ideological purist and a
12:14 am
zealot to some extent. at least -- i spent, as you said, many hours talking to him. and he's a very smart man. he's a lawyer who graduated from duke law school, and he's conversant in political philosophy, but at the end of the day as one of the people i interviewed said, there's kind of a pure puerile ayn randism about him. and it comes out. >> jane, why did art pope agree to talk to you? part of learning about the influence, especially in the post citizens united world of these ideological billionaires who want to influence american politics, particularly the koch brothers and stuff, a lot of the reporting on that is about how secretive these guys are and how much they want to avoid attention. why did he agree to talk to you? >> well, he is actually secretive about his business. he didn't want to answer very many questions about it. and again, it's a privately held company and he really didn't want to talk about a lot of that. but the thing about art pope that's maybe different from the koch brothers is -- well,
12:15 am
actually not. they also sought public office. he sought public office. he served four terms in the state legislature then he ran for statewide office. and i think -- as lieutenant governor and he lost. and i think in a way you can see him as a frustrated politician whose ideas did not sell at the ballot box and when he didn't really get power that way, you can see he funded an empire of kind of a conservative opinion machine and poured money into political races. he'll say nothing he does is partisan or almost nothing. he defines it all as sort of policy oriented. but it always pushes the same interests, which is the republican party and small government. almost anti-government. and low taxes. >> jane mayer, staff writer for "the new yorker." jane, congratulations on getting him to talk to you. and thanks for joining us tonight. i really appreciate it. >> thanks for having me. >> we'll post a link to jane's
12:16 am
article on art pope on our website. i'll encourage you to read it, specifically to seek out one detail you will not hear anywhere else, which is that art pope left the libertarian party and ended up with the republican party because of something having to do with sasquatch, as in the yeti. seriously. you have to check it out. all right. michael lewis is here for the interview tonight. you know him from "moneyball" and "the blind side" and "liar's poker" and "the big short." his new book is called "boomerang." that's coming up. and how republicans have turned the "n" word surfacing from rick perry's presidential campaign into bad news not for rick perry but into bad news for the one african-american candidate in the race. that is ahead. [ male announcer ] drinking a smoothie with no vegetable nutrition?
12:17 am
♪ [ gong ] strawberry banana! [ male announcer ] for a smoothie with real fruit plus veggie nutrition new v8 v-fusion smoothie. could've had a v8.
12:18 am
12:19 am
challenge that thinking with olay. ♪ there's more than a jar of olay moisturizers in every bottle of olay bodywash to leave your skin feeling soft and smooth. with olay. the best approach to food is to keep it whole for better nutrition. that's what they do with great grains cereal. they steam and bake the actual whole grain while the other guy's flake is more processed.
12:20 am
mmm. great grains. the whole whole grain cereal. republican political science is sometimes hard to predict. por ejemplo, if you were part of the administration that did not kill or capture the terrorists who were at the top of your most wanted list but instead you guys inexplicably insisted on starting a full-scale nearly decade-long land war in an unrelated country, when the next president did kill the terrorists on america's most wanted list would you, a, wallow privately in your envy and avoid public comment? would you b, congratulate the new president? or would you c, demand an apology? a, b, or c? yes, that is correct. former vice president dick cheney this weekend chose c, demanding that the cia strike that killed anwar al awlaki on friday was a good occasion for the obama administration to
12:21 am
apologize to dick cheney for some reason. why not? how about this one? you're a politician that turns out to own a piece of property that has a name and that name includes the n word. what do you do when that fact becomes public? do you, a, deny it and come up with an elaborate cover story you that must have had in the works since you first thought about running for office because my god it's the n word and it's your property and you understand it's inflammatory and you'd better have a cover story? do you use your cover story you undoubtedly must have? or do you b, just apologize for it and take responsibility? or do you, c, declare war on mexico? c again. you're getting too good at this. texas governor rick perry this weekend responded to the publicizing of his family's "n" word hunting camp in texas this weekend by announcing apropos of nothing that he might like to send american troops to invade mexico. republican political science is not the same as other kinds of political science. we'll have more ahead.
12:22 am
we're centurylink ... a new kind of broadband company committed to providing honest, personal service from real people ... 5-year price-lock guarantees ... consistently fast speeds ... and more ways to customize your technology.
12:23 am
woman: saving for our child's college fund was getting man: yes it was. so to save some money, we taught our 5 year old how to dunk. woman: scholarship! woman: honey go get him. anncr: there's an easier way to save. get online. go to get a quote. 15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance.
12:24 am
12:25 am
the idea that new jersey governor chris christie might possibly, maybe, conceivably, weather permitting, think about running for president even though he has said he won't a whole bunch of times-s one of the political world's favorite campaign rumors this campaign season. "business week" reporting word from another anonymous republican donor saying that governor christie is once again actively considering entering the race and will make a decision within a few days. that news about christie's reported reconsideration of a potential candidacy being reported in the context of the
12:26 am
larger dynamics at work in the republican field right now. notice that the chris christie rumors are almost always tied to a fund-raiser of some kind. either a fund-raiser is the source of the rumor or fund-raising itself is the substance of the rumor. it raises one really interesting point about all the chris christie speculation for the other republican candidates. the third quarter for fund-raising just ended. the official numbers aren't due for a few days yet, but a mitt romney spokesperson tells "usa today,"" we are going to raise considerably less than what we did in our first reporting period." "the boston globe" has reported as of late last week that mitt romney's campaign is on pace to raise between $11 million and $13 million, that's a lot lower than the 18 million bucks he raised last quarter. it's also a lot lower than the kind of money he was bringing in the last time he ran for president in 2008, when as the "globe" points out mitt romney was relatively unknown on the national stage and was competing with a strong field of fund-raisers. so mitt romney raising less money than he did before,
12:27 am
meaning the previous election, and than he did last quarter. mitt romney is supposed to be the republican establishment guy who has the wall street money all locked up. so if he's raising less money, if he can't raise as much as he did in '08 or even last quarter, what's the problem? what's going on with mitt romney's campaign? the theory floated by "the globe," gop financiers still not sold on romney. like maybe the ones who keep begging chris christie to run? well, mitt romney is still not selling the idea of himself to republican donors, he is still trying to appeal to social conservatives. mr. romney went on mike huckabee's fox news tv show over the weekend and appeared to endorse a policy that mike huckabee has been lending his own star power to lately. it's a state-based constitutional amendment defining personhood as beginning at conception. that's a definition that is clearly aimed at banning all abortion outright. it is also something that could ban many common forms of birth control. >> would you have supported the constitutional amendment that would have established the definition of life at conception?
12:28 am
>> absolutely. >> so -- not that it would have had an easy sailing through the massachusetts legislature republic -- >> but -- >> -- i have to concede -- >> but -- but -- i'm not sure what the awkward fussing at the end of it was all about. but now someone has to ask mitt romney if he really does want to ban the birth control pill. because that's what he just told mike huckabee. everybody, follow up. elsewhere at the top of the current non-rumor-based republican race, the "washington post" ran a piece this weekend about the name of a hunting camp used by rick perry and his family. the name includes the "n" word and was according to "the post" painted in big block letters across a large flat rock standing upright at the camp's gated entrance. to be clear, it was not named by the perry family. the place came with the racial slur name intact. governor perry told the "post" that his parents had painted over the rock in 1983 or 1984. but quoting now from the "post," perry's version of events differs significantly from the recollections of several people who spoke in detail of their
12:29 am
memories of seeing the rock with the name at various points during the various points in which perry was associated with the property through his father partners or his sixth on a lease." what did perry's campaign do? they said more or less the same thing to the rest of the press governor perry told the "post" in the first place. maybe they were hoping governor perry's plan for invading mexico would take over the news cycle instead and everybody would just forget about the racial slur ranch thingy. >> it may require our military in mexico working in concert with them to kill these drug cartels and to keep them off of our border and to destroy their networks. >> while the invasion of mexico thing is a bold, bold plan, did not make the entirety of the beltway media forget about the giant "washington post" story about the perry hunting camp with the racist name painted on the rock. one of the governor's rivals for the republican nomination, herman cain, was a guest on a couple of the sunday political
12:30 am
shows, and he was asked to comment on the "washington post" story and the rick perry details. >> the name of it written on a stone and was "n" head. but obviously it wasn't just "n head." >> right. >> and he was part of that camp even as governor. your reaction, sir? >> my reaction is, that's just very insensitive. there isn't a much -- there isn't a more vile, negative word than the n word. and for him to leave it there as long as he did, before i hear that they finally painted over it, is just plain insensitive to a lot of black people in this country. >> it was painted over. >> yes. it was painted over, but how long ago was it painted over? so i'm still saying that it is a sign of insensitivity. >> so here's the state of play. mitt romney is not meeting the fund-raising levels he met in 2008 or even earlier this year, perhaps because everybody is whispering and hoping about chris christie or anybody else. and that's apparently making
12:31 am
mitt romney totally willing to sign on to any idea that will win him support including, at least it sounded like this weekend, suggesting that he would ban the birth control pill. sure, please vote for me and make the money people stop calling chris christie. also, rick perry has this whole racial epithet ranch thing to deal with. those two things taken together mean that naturally in republican party politics, big picture, naturally it's been a really bad day for herman cain. what? yes. herman cain. herman cain criticized rick perry's racist ranch name and the racist rock at its gates. and as you just saw, the conservatives piled on to herman cain. rush limbaugh accusing him of piggybacking on the "washington post's" smear of rick perry. matt lewis at "the daily caller" calling mr. cain's comments "at best premature and at worst highly irresponsible." he goes on, "it was a cheap shot and a signal cain is willing to play a race card against a fellow republican when it benefits him." erick erickson at kefrnt blog
12:32 am
red state calling it a slander that cain is picking up and running with as a way to get into second place. here's how herman cain was handling questions about the rick perry racist hunting camp story. >> his question, his question was was i satisfied with governor perry's explanation about the name on that ranch where he went hunting, and i said yes, i am. next question. >> are you disappointed that any of the other candidates haven't expressed similar reactions like you have? >> relative to? >> relative to this rock on the perry -- >> no, it doesn't bother me at all. >> some conservatives have said you bought into the liberal media trying to smear perry unfairly as a racist. do you think you played the race card? do you regret at all what you said on fox news sunday or abc? >> all i said was the mere fact that that word was there was insensitive. that's not playing the race card. i am not attacking governor perry. some people in the media want to attack him. i'm done with that issue. >> i'm done with that issue. the story breaks rick perry and
12:33 am
his family have this land that's named a racial slur, a racial slur that's been painted on a rock at the entrance to the camp. herman cain raises questions about how long it took to paint over the racial slur. for example, questions that were also raised by the newspaper article. and herman cain says hey, that seems pretty insensitive. and by the second full day of the story herman cain is the one being forced to backtrack. herman cain is the one in political trouble. really? america, meet the republican party. republican party, meet america. irregularity is no big deal, think twice. it may be a sign that your digestive system could be working better. listen to this with occasional irregularity, things your body doesn't use could be lingering in your system, causing discomfort. but activia has been shown in clinical studies to help with slow intestinal transit when consumed 3 times per day. 7 out of 10 doctors recommend activia. and the great taste is recommended by me! pantene said, "breakage and split ends?
12:34 am
get pantene breakage to strength." [ female announcer ] the keratin protection pro-v system helps prevent then repair split ends. zero fear of breakage, 100% more strength. pantene. since ameriprise financial was founded back in 1894, they've been committed to putting clients first. helping generations through tough times. good times. never taking a bailout. there when you need them. helping millions of americans over the centuries. the strength of a global financial leader. the heart of a one-to-one relationship. together for your future. ♪
12:35 am
but they also go beyond banking. we installed a ge fleet monitoring system. it tracks every vehicle in their fleet. it cuts fuel use. koch: it enhances customer service. it's pretty amazing when people who loan you money also show you how to save it. not just money, knowledge. it's so much information, it's like i'm right there in every van in the entire fleet. good day overall. yeah, i'm good. come on in. let's go. wow, this is fantastic. ge capital. they're not just bankers. we're builders. they helped build our business.
12:36 am
this weekend in iceland, the parliament opened a new session that began with a religious service with iceland's elected dignitaries and their spouses getting dressed all fancy and walking over to the cathedral. this is supposed to be sort of a smile, smile, wave, wave deal. but as you can see here in this video picked up today by jenny jarredin at, as you can see this was not your typical easy stroll over to the church for the lawmakers. almost nothing is easy in iceland anymore, not since the country's banks collapsed three years ago in their little icelandic corner of the financial crisis. those banks turned little iceland into a giant insane clown casino, a great big phony financial world power that went bust overnight. the whole country essentially busted. your money's worth nothing and you're billions upon billions of dollars in debt and nobody can quite explain why. if the u.s. was on the brink of a meltdown in 2008, iceland sort of went over that brink. what we feared for ourselves pretty much happened to them.
12:37 am
we're seeing here the latest protests of the rich guys who ruined iceland and the government that let them. people throwing eggs, people throwing yogurt. it's iceland. people in one case i think even throwing firewood at icelandic officials. you see this person right here? that person right there is the first lady of iceland. she is the wife of the president. she's basically the michelle obama of iceland. and look what she does at these protests. watch her. she's with this group of politicians, but she turns -- oh, wait. there she is. she's broken away from them. she leaves them doing their best to get to the church and kind of quick walks like she's hoping her own handlers won't notice she's slipping away. and then she starts talking to and embracing the protesters. the first lady of iceland hot foots it over to the barricades where the eggs and the yogurt and the firewood have been coming from and people who have been suffering for three years now after this crisis, she walks over, she hugs them, and then she climbs over the barricade. and then in her fancy i'm first
12:38 am
lady going to church suit she climbs over the barricade toward people who had just been throwing stuff in her general direction. across europe thousands of people have been marching against the bankers and the ruins of the global economy. in italy last month the biggest trade union shut down trains and buses and schools and government offices and called a general strike over austerity measures by the italian government, which is broke. one banker telling national tv the bank is too big to fail and also too big to save. in spain, last week protests over banks evicting people who can't pay their mortgages. unemployment there more than double the rate in the u.s. the people of spain are been turning out to say no, you can't throw us out of our houses because we can't find work because frankly there's no work to find. in new york city, the occupy wall street movement entered its third week of protesting tax breaks for millionaires and a variety of austerity measures for the rest of americans. police this week arrested hundreds of occupy wall street marchers on the brooklyn bridge. hundreds of people arrested. occupy wall street now showing signs of becoming occupy
12:39 am
everywhere in america. occupy boston, occupy chicago, occupy portland, maine. occupy seattle. in greece riots continue over new austerity measures as that nation tries to arrange a bailout from the rest of the european union. greece learned just today that its recession will officially drag on for a fourth year. the government broken by corruption and the people suffering because of it. if you know anybody who works in banking or finance or global economics, you know any of those folks and they have seemed a little green around the gills lately? maybe they've been ticking items off their bucket list or getting a little more religion than usual? it may be because they have looked up and realized that, yes, we survived falling off a cliff but now that cliff is apparently subject to a landslide. the cliff is dissolving and heading right for where we are standing. in other words, the collapse of the american financial system that started at the end of the bush presidency has been forestalled, as michael lewis puts it in his new book "boomerang." it has been forestalled but not ended.
12:40 am
as mr. lewis puts it, "the financial crisis of 2008 was suspended only because investors believed that governments could borrow whatever they needed to rescue their banks. what happened when the governments themselves ceased to be credible?" this ongoing and potentially now worsening economic crisis of ours is global and it is political and it is also local and occasionally tawdry and weird. and one man who has gone to these tawdry and weird places around the globe trying to figure out what went wrong and why and when and who did it is back with us here. joining us in studio for the interview is michael lewis, author of best-sellers "moneyball" and "the blind side." his new book is called "boomerang." michael lewis, thanks for coming in. >> thanks for having me back. >> do you believe that the sky is falling? >> yeah, it's more complicated than that. it is -- i think what we're going through now is an extension of the financial crisis that began in 2007, 2008. we have forestalled it, but what happened was these debts were created. they were private debts.
12:41 am
they got -- they tended to be around the world nationalized. socialized. and the governments now are ceasing to be credible. and the question is, what happens when the governments aren't credible? who can step in and say, we'll put the panic to rest? and i think, you know, i think what's -- we're coming to a point of reckoning. i don't think it's the end of the world. but i think -- i think we've got kind of radical change in front of us, yes. >> i have been following the euro crisis as best i can and getting increasingly worried about it. i've been doing a lot more reading about it. than you would think by how much we've talked about it because you i haven't quite figured out how to talk about it yet. but reading your book made me more scared than anything else i have been reading. because it occurs to me that if you think that some things aren't too big to fail then countries aren't too big to fail. but i don't understand what happens when countries fail. >> yes. well, neither did the people who run europe. that's the question. the reason greece isn't just allowed to go. greece can't afford to repay its debts. it will default in some way.
12:42 am
it will not repay its creditors 100 cents on the dollar. the reason the european union is desperate to forestall that is that they don't know what happens when it happens. i mean, they do know that, for example, all the banks in greece will be bankrupt because they own a lot of greek government bonds. french banks and german banks are going to take big hits. and then it ripples through the financial system one more time. and all of a sudden, you know, the banking system is really an act of faith. people are willing to put capital into banks only if they kind of believe in them. they're black boxes largely to the investors who invest in them. and if that faith starts to crumble you get 2000, you get the lehman brother-like environment all over again. what was interesting to me, though, is it looks from 40,000 feet, it looks like the same story everywhere, but it's very different from country to country. i mean, this financial event has been a kind of window into local culture. you can see that it's a series
12:43 am
of regional events really, not just one event. what happened in greece was very different from what happened in iceland, which was very different from what happened in ireland, which was different from what happened here. >> is the solution, though, actually a best -- a sort of -- do you take a best practices solution and apply it to all countries? do you say, you know what, ireland, that was cute. and we realize that you got all excited about your housing. that was cute. and iceland, that was cute about you thought that if you could just trade assets that had no value whatsoever and call them billion-dollar assets that you could all end up being fake billionaires. that was cute. but you know what? you don't actually get to say how you restructure your financial system after it melts down, we've figured out what the one -- what the countriesre that are resilient against things like this and everybody's going to get a one size fits all resilient financial system. >> yeah, but who's going to impose that? they've got to impose that on themselves, right? there's no external authority to come in and impose that. it's very unclear. i mean, we now moved from an economic question or financial question to a political question. which way are these people going to jump? are the german people willing to
12:44 am
bail out these countries on the periphery of europe? the polls all say absolutely not. but their government, their leaders are trying to drag them into that relationship. the greeks -- the greek people, for that matter, do they want to even be bailed out? if the terms are that they've got to live in this endless austerity. probably not. so what you've got is the center not holding right now. but the cost of -- i mean, what is going to ensue if greece defaults and drops out of the euro, it's going to be ugly for a while. so everybody is doing their best to prevent it. >> is there going to be a run on banks throughout europe if that happens? i mean, if people cease to believe that a euro-based economy can survive because it's a euro-based economy, does every euro-based economy suffer? >> yes. it's not so much a run on banks. i suspect what happens instantly is the government says we're behind the banks. once again, everything is too big to fail, we're back to where we were.
12:45 am
but then the question is, which governments can afford to bail out their banking systems? and we're in a very funny situation here. as bad as our banks were, our banks are really small in relation to the rest of our economy compared to europe. so we can actually afford to bail out our banks. germany can afford to bail out its banks. france, not so clear. italy definitely not so clear. and spain neither. so you've got different situations. and the question is how the market is going to respond to the countries once they say, you know, you can't put our banks out of business. >> and once the full faith and credit of "x" country is rated as being something of what it's actually worth rather than just an assertion of national sovereignty they all defer to. >> what we're seeing -- the credit bubble was all about people ignoring risk. what's happening is people are now learning what risk is and learning to price it. >> michael lewis. the new book is called "boomerang: travels in the new third world." absolutely terrifying. really like quite literally kept me up night grinding my teeth. >> i hope it didn't bore you. >> no.
12:46 am
i don't grind my teeth for things that bore me. it was just upsetting. but important and beautifully written. thank you for doing it. >> thank you. >> thanks. >> still ahead, some very clever subversion, all completely legal. it's the best new thing in the world today. we'll be right back. that's logistics. ♪ ♪ medicine that can't wait legal briefs there by eight, ♪ ♪ that's logistics. ♪ ♪ freight for you, box for me box that keeps you healthy, ♪ ♪ that's logistics. ♪ ♪ saving time, cutting stress, when you use ups ♪ ♪ that's logistics. ♪ we asked them to be part of an experiment to prove febreze air effects eliminates tough cooking odors. [ facilitator ] take a deep breath, tell me what you smell. it's grassy. it's green. it smells like fresh wood. like a latte. [ facilitator ] go ahead and take your blindfolds off. oh my goodness. are you serious? wow. i think my nose touched that.
12:47 am
[ facilitator ] ok, rachel, annie. wow. [ male announcer ] eliminate tough odors with febreze air effects so you can breathe happy guaranteed. [ cellphone rings ] cut! [ monica ] i have a small part in a big movie. i thought we'd be on location for 3 days, it's been 3 weeks. so, i used my citi simplicity card to pick up a few things. and i don't have to worry about a late fee. which is good... no! bigger! bigger! [ monica ] ...because i don't think
12:48 am
we're going anywhere for a while. [ male announcer ] write your story with the new citi simplicity card. no late fees. no penalty rate. no worries. get started at and here's what we did today: supported nearly 3 million steady jobs across our country... ... scientists, technicians, engineers, machinists... ... adding nearly 400 billion dollars to our economy... we're at work providing power to almost a quarter of our homes and businesses... ... and giving us cleaner rides to work and school... and tomorrow, we could do even more. cleaner, domestic, abundant and creating jobs now. we're america's natural gas. the smarter power, today. learn more at
12:49 am
this is a heads-up story, this is something to be aware of because this may end up being a big deal but as yet we do not know where it's going. here's how it starts. before retiring on friday as
12:50 am
chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, a couple weeks ago admiral michael mullen told the senate something way more blunt than anybody expected. something that sounded almost like what you'd say to start a war or to explain after the fact why you already had started a war. >> the haqqani network for one acts as a veritable arm of pakistan's internal services intelligence agency. with isi support haqqani operatives planned and conducted that truck attack as well as the assault on our embassy. >> speaking as chairman of the joint chiefs of staff admiral mullen saying more or less pakistan has been directly killing american soldiers. in this truck bombing in eastern afghanistan which wounded 77 americans on the eve of this year's 9/11 anniversary and this big coordinated attack on the u.s. embassy and the international military headquarters in kabul last month. admiral mullen saying that when a group called the haqqani network mounts attacks like these on americans that haqqani network is pakistan. in his words it is a veritable
12:51 am
arm of pakistan's intelligence service. that's the kind of thing that does not usually get said out loud and directly. because when the u.s. government says another country is killing u.s. troops out loud and directly, that's pretty close to the u.s. government saying, here we come, let us introduce you to the united states marine corps. but then a few days after mullen dropped that bombshell in the senate another one dropped. "the new york times" quoting anonymous sources saying publicly for the first time that when u.s. and afghan officers were ambushed at a meeting in pakistan in 2007 they weren't ambushed by militants, by locals, by the taliban or something. they were ambushed by the pakistani officers the americans were meeting with. quote, "at first the meeting to resolve the border dispute seemed a success. despite some tense moments the delegations ate lunch together, exchanged phone numbers and made plans to meet again. then as the americans and afghans prepared to leave the pakistanis opened fire without warning. the assault involved multiple gunmen, pakistani intelligence agents and military officers." again, this happened in 2007.
12:52 am
which means americans have been keeping news of this ambush quiet for four years. what were they waiting for for four years? why have they decided to tell the story publicly now after four years? then the unexpectedly brutal truth about pakistan trifecta was completed today by named u.s. sources on the record. the headline in the "usa today" newspaper, "majority of ieds are traced to pakistan." quote, "from june through august, u.s. troops detected or were hit by more than 5,000 ieds. the most for any three-month period since the afghanistan war began in '01. those bombs killed 63 troops and wounded more than 1,200. more than 80% of the ieds are homemade explosives using fertilizer produced in pakistan." so pakistan effectively directs the activities of the group that attacked the u.s. embassy in afghanistan last month and set off a truck bomb that wounded nearly 80 u.s. troops. pakistani personnel directly attacked and killed an american major and wounded three other
12:53 am
u.s. officers in 2007. also, pakistan the primary source for the material for the bombs that are the primary means of killing americans in the afghanistan war. okay. the single most shocking thing about those three news flashes is not that they are true. these things are awful news, but they are not shocking given what we know about pakistan. what is shocking is that different parts of the u.s. government and the u.s. military are now letting us, the american public, know all of these things. all at once. in quick succession. why are they telling us this now? are they trying to prepare us for something? ♪ [ female announcer ] have you ever seen a glacier while sunbathing? why not? have you ever climbed a rock wall in the middle of the ocean? or tried something really wild? why not? it's all possible in the nation of why not.
12:54 am
royal caribbean's floating nation where you're free to do anything you want. which may be nothing at all. royal caribbean international. visit today.
12:55 am
two of the most important are energy security and economic growth. north america actually has one of the largest oil reserves in the world. a large part of that is oil sands. this resource has the ability to create hundreds of thousands of jobs. at our kearl project in canada, we'll be able to produce these oil sands with the same emissions as many other oils and that's a huge breakthrough. that's good for our country's energy security and our economy. confidence, with our codepend in color.ecurity now available in gray. looks and fits like underwear. same great protection. depend. good morning. great day.
12:56 am
[ sighs ] can't wait 'til morning. wait, it's morning in china... [ male announcer ] it's sweet. it's nutty. it's absolutely delicious. kellogg's® crunchy nut™. it's morning somewhere™. the best new thing in the world today comes from the occupy wall street protest in lower manhattan. the protesters there have been barred from electronically amplifying their voices.
12:57 am
so no bullhorns, no microphones. they instead have to rely on the human voice alone. early on, though, in the now two-week-old occupation they came up with an ingenious solution that they call the people's mike. it goes like this. >> on september -- >> on september. >> 17th -- >> 17th. >> 2011 -- >> 2011. >> people from all across -- >> people from all across. >> the united states of america -- >> the united states of america -- >> and the world came to protest -- >> and the world came to protest -- >> the many injustices -- >> -- of our times perpetuated. >> -- of our times perpetuated. >> by the economic and political else. >> by the economic and political elites. >> you get the idea, right? one person speaks and the crowd repeats their words in unison so everybody can hear what the unamplified person said. this weekend nobel prize winning economist joseph stieglitz visited the occupy wall street protest and his words to the protests were similarly amplified by the people's mike. watch.
12:58 am
>> before talking about economics, i want to say something about democracy. >> before talking about economics, i want to say something about democracy. >> in july i was in spain. >> in july i was in spain. >> talking to the indignados there. the protesters. >> talking to the indignados there. the protesters. >> there i could use a bullhorn. >> there i could use a bullhorn. >> i didn't have to go through this echo chamber. >> i didn't have to go through this echo chamber. >> i realized the pedagogy of having to repeat what i say is very valuable. >> i realized the pedagogy of having to repeat what i say is very valuable. >> okay, let's stop there. first, joseph stieglitz throws them a spanish word for protesters. and then makes them say "i realized the pedagogy of having
12:59 am
you repeat what i say is very valuable." and yet the group is so practiced at this now that even "i realize the pedagogy of having you repeat what i say is very valuable" gets repeated lickety-split. they did very well. so obviously, this is something that can pretty easily break down. but even when it does break down, it is still kind of awesome. >> our financial markets -- >> our financial markets. >> have an important role to play. >> have an important role to play. >> they're supposed to allocate capital, manage risk. >> they're supposed to allocate capital, manage risk. >> but they misallocated capital and they created risk. >> but they misallocated capital and they created risk. >> i love the look on the guy's face behind him when he didn't quite get that last line right. they misallocated capital and they created risk. the people's mike as not just a translator and amplifier but


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on